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Why Are Child Poverty Rates Higher in Britain than in Germany?: A Longitudinal Perspective


  • Stephen P. Jenkins
  • Christian Schluter


We analyze why child poverty rates were much higher in Britain than in Western Germany during the 1990s, using a framework focusing on poverty transition rates. Child poverty exit rates were significantly lower, and poverty entry rates significantly higher, in Britain. We decompose these cross-national differences into differences in the prevalence of ‘‘trigger events’’ (changes in household composition, household labor market attachment, and labor earnings), and differences in the chances of making a poverty transition conditional on experiencing a trigger event. The latter are the most important in accounting for the cross-national differences in poverty exit and entry rates.

Suggested Citation

  • Stephen P. Jenkins & Christian Schluter, 2003. "Why Are Child Poverty Rates Higher in Britain than in Germany?: A Longitudinal Perspective," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 38(2).
  • Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:38:y:2003:i:2:p441-465

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Richard Burkhauser & Karen Holden & Daniel Myers, 1986. "Marital disruption and poverty: The role of survey procedures in artificially creating poverty," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 23(4), pages 621-631, November.
    2. Duncan, Greg J & Gustafsson, Bjorn & Hauser, Richard & Schmauss, Gunther & Messinger, Hans & Muffels, Ruud & Nolan, Brian, 1993. "Poverty Dynamics in Eight Countries," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 6(3), pages 215-234.
    3. Stephen P. Jenkins & Christian Schluter & Gert G. Wagner, 2001. "The Dynamics of Child Poverty: Britain and Germany Compared," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 233, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    4. Jenkins, Stephen P. & Schluter, Christian, 2001. "Why are child poverty rates higher in Britain than in Germany? a longitudinal perspective -working paper-," ISER Working Paper Series 2001-16, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
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    Cited by:

    1. Miles Corak & Michael Fertig & Marcus Tamm, 2008. "A Portrait Of Child Poverty In Germany," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 54(4), pages 547-571, December.
    2. Carlos Gradín & Olga Cantó, 2009. "Why are child poverty rates so persistently high in Spain?," Working Papers 123, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
    3. Elena Bárcena-Martín & M. Carmen Blanco-Arana & Salvador Pérez-Moreno, 2017. "Dynamics of child poverty in the European countries," Working Papers 437, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
    4. Bönke Timm & Schröder Carsten, 2011. "Poverty in Germany – Statistical Inference and Decomposition," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 231(2), pages 178-209, April.
    5. Kossi Agbeviade Djoke & Ayawo Djadou & Amélé d'Almeida & Rachidatou Ruffino, 2009. "Profil de la pauvreté infantile dans quatre pays de l'UEMOA: une analyse comparative basée sur l'approche multidimensionnelle de la pauvreté," Working Papers PMMA 2009-01, PEP-PMMA.
    6. Chiara Assunta Ricci, 2016. "The mobility of Italy’s middle income group," PSL Quarterly Review, Economia civile, vol. 69(277), pages 173-197.
    7. Timm Bönke & Carsten Schröder, 2009. "The German spatial poverty divide: poorly endowed or bad luck?," Working Papers 118, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
    8. Joachim R. Frick & Stephen P. Jenkins & Dean R. Lillard & Oliver Lipps & Mark Wooden, 2008. "Die internationale Einbettung des Sozio-oekonomischen Panels (SOEP) im Rahmen des Cross-National Equivalent File (CNEF)," Vierteljahrshefte zur Wirtschaftsforschung / Quarterly Journal of Economic Research, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 77(3), pages 110-129.
    9. Eirini Andriopoulou & Panagiotis Tsakloglou, "undated". "The determinants of poverty transitions in Europe and the role of duration dependence," DEOS Working Papers 1120, Athens University of Economics and Business.
    10. Edwin Fourrier-Nicolai & Michel Lubrano, 2017. "Bayesian Inference for TIP curves: An Application to Child Poverty in Germany," Working Papers halshs-01494354, HAL.
    11. Sung-Hee Jeon, 2008. "The Impact of Lifecycle Events on Women's Labour Force Transitions: A Panel Analysis," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 84(s1), pages 83-98, September.
    12. Crawford, Ron, 2009. "Variations in earnings growth: evidence from earnings transitions in the NZ Linked Income Survey," ISER Working Paper Series 2009-18, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
    13. Frick, Joachim R. & Jenkings, Stephen P. & Lillard, Dean R. & Lipps, Oliver & Wooden, Mark, 2007. "The Cross-National Equivalent File (CNEF) and Its Member Country Household Panel Studies," EconStor Open Access Articles, ZBW - German National Library of Economics, pages 627-654.
    14. Matthew Lindquist & Gabriella Sjögren Lindquist, 2012. "The dynamics of child poverty in Sweden," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 25(4), pages 1423-1450, October.
    15. Coral del Río & Carlos Gradín & Olga Cantó, 2006. "What helps households with children in leaving poverty? Evidence from Spain," Working Papers 24, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
    16. Simone Schotte & Rocco Zizzamia & Murray Leibbrandt, 2017. "Social stratification, life chances and vulnerability to poverty in South Africa," SALDRU Working Papers 208, Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town.

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